LEARNING FROM INFORMAL URBANISM: A CASE OF KAMUKUNJI, NAIROBI.

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the concept of informal urbanism which has become an emerging trend within developing cities. Cities globally therefore, can no longer exclude it. This thesis highlights the architectural elements brought out from studies of informality by various architects with an aim to understand the logics of informality and to bring out knowledge that the architectural discourse can learn from. Informal spaces essentially are self-organised spaces i.e. human beings creating their own perception of their built environment without the influence of an architect. The inhabitants bring to life experiential urban spaces through the activities they undertake. They recognize streets as a places where human activities are concentrated, channels of movement that connect one place to another, communication space, a place of commercial encounter and exchange, a place to do business and finally, a symbolic and ceremonial space within the city. In the context of Kamukunji as case of the informal sector1, it will highlight the informal logic that makes it thrive, how the contextual

neighbourhood has contributed or not to its inception and finally salient architectural concepts that we can learn from it. This is so as to bring forth what architects can learn from how an informal sector1 thrives and how architecture can contribute to informality as it is here to stay.

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